The American XL Bully Dog: A Comprehensive Guide

XL Bully standing next to a fence

What is the American XL Bully?

The American XL Bully is a breed that has captured the hearts of dog lovers for many years. Its size and general demeanour is an example of selective breeding. The breed has become popular over the years for not just their physical attributes but also their friendly nature and their ability to adapt to various living conditions. In this article, we deep dive into the world of the American XL Bully, tracing its historical lineage, understanding its unique characteristics, and exploring its rise to prominence in the modern canine landscape.

XL Bully Dogs Legislation Update

Recent UK Government Legislation Update

  • Illegal to breed, sell, or rehome from 31 December 2023.
  • Must be kept on a lead and muzzled in public.
  • Ownership allowed only if registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs from 1 February 2024.
  • Non-compliance could lead to criminal records, fines, or dog seizure.

What is the XL Bullies Historical Background?

The American XL Bully originates from the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American XL Bully has evolved over time through selective breeding, yielding a unique breed distinct in size and appearance. However, its rising popularity has led to concerns, culminating in the recent UK government’s ban effective from 31 December 2023.

It’s now imperative for owners to adhere to new regulations: keeping XL Bullies on a lead, muzzling them in public, and registering them on the Index of Exempted Dogs by 1 February 2024. Ensure you read the article and put measures in place immediately such as keeping your XL Bully on lead, muzzled in public and obtaining third-party liability insurance.

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Key Takeaways: American XL Bully

Key Takeaways: American XL Bully

Legislation Changes

As of 31 December 2023, UK legislation will make it illegal to breed, sell, or rehome XL Bully dogs.

Ownership Regulations

Owners must keep XL Bullies muzzled and on a lead in public, and register them on the Index of Exempted Dogs by 1 February 2024 to avoid penalties.

Breed Origins

The breed has its origins in the American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier, with its popularity raising concerns leading to the ban.

Physical Characteristics

Physical characteristics include a muscular build, with males weighing 110 to 150 pounds and females 100 to 140 pounds.

Coat and Grooming

XL Bullies have a short, glossy coat that comes in various colors, with minimal grooming required.

Diet and Exercise

A balanced diet and regular exercise are crucial for their health, along with mental stimulation to keep them engaged.

Health Concerns

Potential health issues include hip dysplasia, heart conditions, and allergies, highlighting the importance of regular veterinary care and proper insurance.

Regulatory Compliance

Owners must be aware of the new regulations and prepare accordingly, including obtaining a suitable muzzle and leash to comply with the law.

What are XL Bully Physical Characteristics?

Size and Build

The American XL Bully stands out with its muscular build. Males typically weigh between 110 to 150 pounds, with females ranging from 100 to 140 pounds. Their stature is impressive, with males standing between 20 to 23 inches and females between 19 to 22 inches. When comparing the XL Bully size to other breeds, their robustness is evident.

Coat and Colour

Their short, glossy coat can be found in various shades, including the sought-after chocolate tri xl bully and fawn xl bully colours. Additionally, the blue xl bully and tri-colour variations are quite popular. Their coat requires minimal grooming, making maintenance a breeze.

How to check if your dog is an American XL Bully

You can find all the relevant details on the UK Governments website on the Official Definition of an XL Bully page.

XL Bully standing next to a fence

XL Bully Health and Care

  • Diet: A balanced diet is paramount for the American XL Bully. Their large size and active nature necessitate a diet rich in protein. Many owners consider the best raw diet for xl bully, ensuring they receive essential nutrients.
  • Exercise & Mental Stimulation: Regular physical activity is vital for the American XL Bully. They relish activities like walks, fetch, and agility training. Given their robust physique, it’s crucial to ensure they don’t overexert themselves. Additionally, mental stimulation is equally important. Explore enrichment activities to keep their minds sharp and engaged.
  • Health Concerns: The breed may face health issues like hip dysplasia, heart conditions, and allergies. Regular veterinary check-ups can help mitigate these concerns. Additionally, given the breed’s unique needs and potential regulations, securing appropriate insurance for the American XL Bully in the UK is crucial.

XL Bully Temperament with Other Dogs

The XL Bully’s interaction with other dogs is shaped by various factors, emphasizing the importance of responsible breeding and training:

  • Expert Insights: Renowned for their strong and confident demeanour, XL Bullies can be sociable and friendly, especially when their training and socialisation start early. This perspective is supported by experienced dog behaviourists.
  • Socialisation Impact:
    • Puppyhood Experiences: Positive experiences during puppyhood, involving exposure to diverse environments and canine companions, are crucial. They foster adaptability and reduce aggression.
    • Adult Dog Interactions: The breed’s response to other dogs in adulthood can vary, often reflecting their early life experiences. Dogs that missed critical socialization periods might exhibit nervousness or aggressive behaviours towards other dogs.
  • Tailored Approach for Each Dog: Recognising the individuality of each XL Bully is essential. Factors like personal history, previous negative encounters, or lack of early socialisation play a significant role in shaping their reactions to other dogs. A nuanced understanding of these elements is key for ensuring peaceful and safe interactions with other canines.

XL Bully Summary

The American XL Bully, characterised by its powerful stature and endearing nature, has become a beloved choice for many. However, with its growing popularity come challenges, especially with the impending regulations in the UK.

Proper care, training, and awareness of insurance considerations are essential for potential owners. Regardless of one’s experience with dogs, the American XL Bully’s charm is undeniable, making it a standout breed in the canine world.

Essential Products for Your American XL Bully

As a responsible American XL Bully owner, it’s crucial to ensure the safety and comfort of your pet, as well as adhere to legal guidelines, especially in the light of the regulations regarding muzzling and leashing of XL Bullies.

We have curated a list of indispensable products that not only aim at complying with the impending laws but also ensure a positive and comfortable experience for your beloved bully:

Basket Muzzle

Fitting your XL Bully with a muzzle is now a legal requirement from 31st December 2023. Our selected muzzle through Amazon is designed for the comfort and breathability of your XL Bully, providing a secure fit while allowing your dog to pant and drink water.

Top Selling

Basket Muzzle

  • Allows dogs to pant when hot or stressed and drink

  • Can be heat shaped to fit different dog nose shapes

  • Strong Thermo Plastic Rubber (TPR)


Multi-Clip Training Lead

A multi-clip training lead offers versatility with adjustable length settings, ideal for training, walking, or ensuring your bully stays close in crowded or high-traffic areas

Top Selling

Multi-clip Training Lead

  • Multi-functional double-ended lead that can be used in 7 different ways

  • Made from lightweight premium webbing, giving it both strength and comfort for everyday use in all weather

  • 2 trigger clips which allow for 2 points of connection and other versatile uses



A harness provides better control and distributes pressure evenly across the chest and shoulders, which is much safer than traditional collars, especially for robust breeds like the American XL Bully.

Top Selling

Ruffwear Harness

  • Lightweight and durable with reflective trim, designed for all-day outdoor adventures

  • The harness is designed for easy on and off

  • Reinforced webbing at the chest that stands up to pulling and gives additional control, ideal for training


About Me

Jim Gillies, a Certified Dog Behaviourist and Trainer in Glasgow with over 10 years of experience, prioritises canine well-being through modern, science-backed methods. Handling 4000+ cases of 1-to-1 behaviour training, Jim is fully accredited, insured, and recognised for addressing various behavioural issues including aggression, separation anxiety, and more. Jim holds qualifications in level 5 (merit) Advance Diploma Canine Behaviour Management and level 6 Applied Animal Behaviour. Explore his insightful blog and podcast, sharing expert knowledge on dog training and behaviour. Certified by the IAABC, Jim’s expertise makes him a reliable choice for addressing your dog’s needs.

Contact Information

Should you have any questions about this article, feel free to contact me on:


Mobile: 07864029933


Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate, and the products recommended in this guide are sold on Amazon. For each product listed, I have provided a hyperlink that directs you to the Amazon page where you can make a purchase. Should you decide to buy any of the products through the provided links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. This affiliate commission helps to support my work and continue providing valuable information to my readers. Thank you for your support!

American XL Bully – FAQ

FAQ on American XL Bully

What is the American XL Bully?
The American XL Bully is a breed of dog known for its majestic size, gentle demeanour, and adaptability to various living conditions. It has gained significant attention for its physical attributes and amiable nature.
What are the historical origins of the American XL Bully?
The American XL Bully originated from the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. Through selective breeding, it has evolved into a distinct breed in terms of size and appearance.
Are there any regulations surrounding the American XL Bully?
Yes, due to its rising popularity, there have been changes in regulations. The UK government has imposed a ban on the breed. Owners are advised to keep their XL Bully on a lead, have them muzzled in public, and obtain third-party liability insurance.
How big is the American XL Bully?
Males typically weigh between 110 to 150 pounds and stand between 20 to 23 inches. Females weigh between 100 to 140 pounds and stand between 19 to 22 inches.
What are the coat variations of the American XL Bully?
The American XL Bully has a short, glossy coat that comes in various shades, including chocolate tri xl bully, fawn xl bully, blue xl bully, and tri-colour variations.
How is the temperament of the American XL Bully?
Despite misconceptions about the breed, the American XL Bully is affectionate and loyal. They interact well with children and other pets, especially when properly socialised from a young age.
How should the American XL Bully be exercised?
Regular physical activities like walks, fetch, and agility training are recommended. It’s essential to ensure they don’t overexert themselves. Mental stimulation through enrichment activities is also crucial.
Are there any health concerns associated with the American XL Bully?
Yes, they may face issues like hip dysplasia, heart conditions, and allergies. Regular veterinary check-ups can help address these concerns. Additionally, securing appropriate insurance in the UK is vital due to the breed’s unique needs and potential regulations.
Are XL Bullies aggressive?
Contrary to common misconceptions, XL Bullies are not inherently aggressive. They are often protective but also known for their loyalty and affection.

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